IMA Minigolf

IMA Minigolf

These two holes were featured as part of the Indiana Museum of Art’s artist-designed miniature golf courses for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Curated by Scott Stulen + Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman (aka A Couple of Putts), these open air interactive exhibits were enjoyed by tens of thousands of IMA visitors.

Massacre made no impression on their countless numbers...

The Shadow-Tailed Scourge hole (designed for 2016 and held over for the 2017 season) is a playful send-up of an historic squirrel invasion: In the fall of 1822, a westward migration of squirrels across the state of Indiana decimated crops and caused immeasurable damage to farmland. Many farmers lost whole cornfields to the freakish plague of squirrels.

I didn't choose the pond life; the pond life chose me...

P. caudatum

Pond Life imagines a Paramecium Caudata grown to monstrous size. Paramecia, from the kingdom Protista, are extremely common single-celled organisms found in fresh and salt water environments all over the world. In the wild, paramecia rarely grow longer than .25mm. This specimen, at nearly ten feet long, is over 1200 times larger. At the scale of a more typical paramecium, the Alliance Sculpture Court would be only two inches long, and the entire IMA would fit in the palm of your hand!

object
Media: plywood, Sintra, resin, foam, turf
Dimensions: 12' x 12' (Scourge), 10' x 6' (Pond Life)
Year: 2016-2017
Role: Co-Designer (with Beth Eby as Pixels + Plywood)
The squirrels in production

© 2018 chad eby

Dust Objects

Dust Objects

These ongoing small works are form explorations using subdivision surface modeling and various 3D printing and other digital fabrication techniques. Sub-D surfaces attempt to conserve surface area in relation to volume in much the same way that diatoms and other small creatures do, yielding complex highly organic forms from fairly simple input. cylinder #5 is a fairly recent incarnation, but I have been experimenting with these small forms since 2005

digital fabrication
Media: plaster, resin, PLA, ABS
Dimensions: variable
Year: 2005-2018
Hidden line drawing

© 2018 chad eby

Cylinder #5

Cylinder #5

These form studies embody tensions between seed geometry within a regular grid and the influence of the “natural force” of subdivision surface smoothing. In this case, random selection marks some faces of the tubular seed primitive for extrusion and invagination—a process that blows the form open and creates a double-walled vessel. Smoothing then curves and contracts the polygonal skin, drastically increasing the ratio of enclosed volume per surface area (a common adaptation of living organisms), giving the object a biomorphic appearance. And yet, the ghost of Descartes is a persistent one…despite the uncanny mesentreric folds, evidence of the grid is everywhere…3D printing pushes these digital forms into corporeal reality, across that other Cartesian boundary, in a process that seems hard to name: “realization,” “objectification,” “reification” are all freighted and creaky with other concepts. Whatever we call it, I feel what is most significant about digital fabrication technologies, particularly these early ones with their crude nature and idiosyncratic artifacts, is that they allow us to see how the digital is fundamentally different than the physical, how the model (always previously a purposeful abstraction) can swell to be richer and deeper than the thing it purports to represent—how the map can cover the territory.

cylinder #5 (from the containment studies series) was shown at Art2Make at the Center for Book and Paper Gallery at Columbia College in Chicago. The exhibition was curated by Carrie Ida Edinger. Online catalog available at v1b3.

digital fabrication
Media: distributable STL file
Dimensions: variable
Year: 2014
Rendering (top view)

© 2018 chad eby

Empathy Test

Empathy Test

(This is not the story I wanted to tell you)

Part of Sound Through Barriers, Empathy Test explores the sounds of a machine model of self-recognition, approach/avoidance behavior and the inevitability of any measurement to alter the thing measured. Randomly generated pulses serve both to drive the servomotors’ positions as well as to be interpreted as sound when a motor position brings it into the field of a pick-up coil. The piece is open to completion by the viewer (since it has no overt content) but is simultaneously a kind of mystery—since it is not clear to the viewer whether or not s/he is influencing the production of sound. The piece approaches the idea of “barrier” in terms of the limits of communication…what can be recognized, understood or spoken.

sound object
Media: five gallon plastic bucket and lid, steel casters, two-way speaker, D-class amplifier. passive mixer, Arduino microcontroller, servo motors, laser cut plywood, 9 and 12v, transformers, wiring, custom software written with the Arduino IDE
Dimensions: 43cm x 33cm x 33cm
Year: 2012
Pre-viz drawings

© 2018 chad eby

stopfmaschine

stopfmaschine

stopfmaschine employs active infra-red sensors and light dependent resistors to drive a microcontroller-hosted granular synthesis engine and trigger recorded samples of the clicks of dying hard drives and the groans of stress-induced metal fatigue. A servo-driven pendulum modulates the live sound synthesis based on viewer presence and proximity. stopfmaschine was exhibited at Gro{o}ve, a show curated by Professor Margaret Schedel at SUNY Stony Brook’s SAC Gallery, New York. Seven international sound artists were selected to present new sound object work; All of the pieces were both sonic and sculptural, and most were, in some way, aware of viewers in the space.
sound object
Media: microcontroller, electronics, custom code
Dimensions: 30 cm x 40 cm x 4 cm
Year: 2010
stopfing

© 2018 chad eby

America is Very Wide

America is Very Wide

That was something my host-mother used to say to indicate that anything was possible. She believed in UFOs—not in Japan—but in the U.S., because “America is very wide…” This piece uses ambisonic spatial audio to imagine a room large enough to contain all fifty United States and to place a speaker at each state capital, enthusiastically reciting the state’s tourism slogan (Idaho: “Great potatoes, tasty destinations.”) while the listener is virtually located at a location about 14 miles west of Lebanon, KS. The voice from each state capital is both directional and modulated by distance (Honolulu is barely a whisper), so that a sonic map begins to form around the listener. First staged in 2005, the piece was reprised with more accurately computed audio in 2012.
sound installation
Media: eight-channel ambisonic audio
Dimensions: highly variable
Year: 2005 / 2008
Determining coordinates

© 2018 chad eby

Memory Maps

Memory Maps

Memory Maps are screen-captures of the ephemeral results of video memory corruption enlarged to nearly 1 pixel= 1 cm and printed on a large format ink-jet printer. The tropical colors and comb- and net-like structures are purely artifacts of the content of the video buffer when things went wrong. This sort of intermittent glitch is beyond any sort of control (even as to the likelihood of its occurrence) and so must be understood as a found object.
digital print
Media: large format ink-jet
Dimensions: 460cm x 100cm
Year: 2008
As exhibited at Space 301, Mobile AL

© 2018 chad eby

The Oracle at Elsewhere

The Oracle at Elsewhere

The Oracle at Elsewhere was built and shown at Elsewhere as part of a competitive residency. At a public performance, petitioners were asked to pour a libation, choose an avatar, ask a question and then place the avatar on the altar (a disused heater housing—ed.), at which point the heater roared to life, and the petitioner’s question was answered by a laser crosshair spelling it out letter by letter by pointing to Ouija-like quilt.

The Oracle is infallible—it just doesn't always answer the question that you ask...

performance / object
Media: objects from the Elsewhere collection, spatial sound, microcontrollers, servo motors, laser planchette and custom code
Dimensions: variable
Year: 2008
Wiring up the Oracle

© 2018 chad eby

Intonarumori 2.0

Intonarumori 2.0

Intonarumori 2.0 is a digital reinterpretation of the Italian Fututrist Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori noise instruments. As in the original, a hand-crank is turned on the back of the boxy device to produce noises from the front. In this updated version, six levers are added, each corresponding to:

Roars, Thunderings, Explosions, Hissing roars, Bangs, Booms

Whistling, Hissing, Puffing

Whispers, Murmurs, Mumbling, Muttering, Gurgling

Screeching, Creaking, Rustling, Buzzing, Crackling, Scraping

Noises obtained by beating on metals, woods, skins, stones, pottery, etc.

Voices of animals and people, Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails, Hoots, Howls, Death rattles, Sobs

By turning the crank and manipulating the levers, an orchestra of noise may be produced.

“Let us cross a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes and we will get enjoyment from distinguishing the eddying of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the grumbling noises that breathe and pulse with indisputable animility, the palpitation of waves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of the tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags.”

Luigi Russolo
sound object
Media: microcontrollers, re-purposed electronics, custom code
Dimensions: 30 x 12 x 16 inches
Year: 2007/2008
As exhibited at UWF

© 2018 chad eby

Interactive Waiting Room

Interactive Waiting Rooms

(with Living Networks)

Interactive waiting room pavilion for Philips Electronics, Europe at the International Dental Show 2007 in Cologne, Germany. My role with Living Networks was to the develop software for integration of RFID, directional audio and DMX lights, lighting design and hardware installation on-site. 

The system used a palette of physical icons embedded with RFID tags to trigger customized light and sound sequences to provide a soothing experience for dental patients. The show was attended by more than 100,000 visitors over five days.

interactive environment
Media: hyperdirectional sound, digital lighting
Dimensions: 4 m x 4 m x 3 m
Role: RFID / sound / light integration (Max/MSP), lighting design
Year: 2007
Under-table RFID reader

© 2018 chad eby